CHULA VISTA (CBS 8) - The Chula Vista teen who lost his right leg to a bacterial infection several months ago shared his inspiring story of his recovery with CBS News 8.
Last October, Giancarlo Gil, 14, contracted a bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis - Group A Strep - a very rare strain of it. He had his right leg amputated as doctors tried to stem the spread of the virus.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body's soft tissue. Accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment with intravenously administered antibiotics and surgery are important to stopping the infection, which can become life-threatening in a very short amount of time.
The CDC said the occurrence of the disease is rare, even though it can be caused by several types of bacteria. Healthy people with strong immune systems can usually avoid the disease by practicing good hygiene and proper wound care.
Since 2010, 124 cases of necrotizing fasciitis have been reported in San Diego County.
Of those patients, only three have been under the age of 17, and many of the others had an underlying medical condition that weakened their immune system.
People who get any kind of injury that breaks the skin -- even as simple as a paper cut, blister or scrape -- should see a doctor if the wound gets warm and/or oozes.
Giancarlo had ten surgeries at Rady Children's Hospital in order to keep the virus from spreading.